Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

Martin McGuinness disagrees with 'perverse' Michaela trial verdict

The North’s deputy first minister is meeting with the Mauritian high commissioner in London today to discuss the case.

Image: Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images

MARTIN MCGUINNESS HAS said that he disagrees with the “perverse” ruling of a court in Mauritius to acquit the two men who were accused of the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

The North’s deputy first minister said that he disagreed with the verdict of the jury in the case and was meeting with the Mauritian high commissioner in London today to express his concerns with a view to having a retrial taking place.

“There are huge question marks over how the policing authorities in Mauritius handled this investigation from the beginning,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Two former attendants at a hotel on the Indian Ocean island were last week acquitted of the murder of the Tyrone woman in January last year.

There has been considerable criticism of judicial process in Mauritius as well as outrage at the publication of graphic images of Michaela’s body in one of the island’s Sunday newspapers.

McGuinness said the purpose of his meeting with authorities in London was to discuss the “appalling handling of the case and the appalling way” that the McAreavey and Harte families were treated throughout the case.

On Morning Ireland, the Sinn Féin MLA said: “I do disagree with the verdict of the jury” describing it as “perverse” and adding: “I first of all think that the first priority and main focus is how a retrial can be brought into place.”

“I want to hear from the Mauritians what exactly they are doing about that,” he said.

I would be happy with a further investigation with a view to ensuring that there is a retrial and that’s what the main focus has to be.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

McGuinness said that there had been agreement on the idea that both the Gardaí and the Police Service of Northern Ireland contribute to a review of the evidence in the case and said that “it all has to be done with a view to a retrial”.

He was speaking as the editor of the Sunday Times newspaper, which published the graphic photos of McAreavey’s body, prepares to go before a court in Port Louis today where he is expected to be charged with ouraging religious and public morality.

McGuinness said that that the publication of the images was “absolutely distasteful” and described the Sunday publication as a “rag of a newspaper”.

He also said that he had not seen the controversial images of McAreavey and the hotel room where she was killed.

Michaela death: Mauritius PM invites Gardaí, PSNI to investigate

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

Read next: